help! i need small space solutions for this microscopic kitchen!

kitchen 1
kitchen 2

It’s been a couple months since we moved into our new place, and despite a hectic work schedule, it’s finally beginning to feel like home. Yes, I have a few photos to get printed and framed, but for the most part, we’re lookin’ good. Well, except for our microscopic kitchen. Our most major pain point to date, sometimes it feels like there’s no way to make this narrow space with minimal counter tops usable for all the cooking we’d like to do, and it’s a factor that’s keeping my stand mixer dream firmly planted in the future. We’ve traded our dish track and tray combo for this handy dish drying mat, which has helped to clear up counter space, but other than that the next step seems to require the installation of some strategic shelving, but the space is so narrow that I’d love to crowd-source an answer on this one. The ceilings in our apartment are very high, so there’s potential for elevated shelving, but some other complications include that the oven is flush to the wall, so any sort of table or narrow storage console along that wall would prevent the door from opening, which is a deal-breaker. Parallel to the views above is an empty wall, but the walkway is so narrow than any possible shelving would have to be far above our heads. Any helpful tips for me? Care to commiserate? — Sarah C.

From our partners

site we’re psyched about: my drunk kitchen

drunkkitchsgrab

Every so often in life, we just need a bit of comic relief. Sadly, Youtube has, for the most part, run its course for me…I just seem to have reached maximum capacity for cute baby animals and guys getting kicked in a bad place. So, when I finally discovered a little video break that not only didn’t bore me, but had me in fits of laughter for days, you can understand why I was in a bit of a giddy state.

The source of all this fun is My Drunk Kitchen, a site run by the hilarious Hannah Hart. The concept is pretty straightforward: our lovely host (who, by the way, is not a cook) gets drunk and cooks. Hilarity ensues. She does give herself a rule of no sharp knives once intoxicated (sound policy), but this is a crafty girl. She happily resorts to chopping lettuce for a taco with a butter knife, or open a package of cheese with her teeth.

Prepare to watch her recipes devolve in direct proportion to her alcohol consumption, and to hear her hurl insults at a recipe for which she has no patience. “Pretentious-ass recipe!” And, of course, there are loads of helpful tips and tricks for your own kitchen adventures. “Butter yo sh**!” comes to mind. And you won’t want to miss her recipe for the perfect mimosa.

It all reminds me of something that would have transpired in the kitchen of my sorority house in college at 3 in the morning (come to think of it, that may not just be imagining on my part…). If you’re short on time? Start with the cookies, then move on to tacos. You won’t regret it.

I find myself rattling off quotes from her little vids constantly…so I’m thinking I need an apron from her swag store, explaining just how I feel about that “pretentious-ass recipe”. Don’t you agree? –Becki S.

From our partners

for your eyes only: homemade privacy film

frostedwindow

I live on the first floor of a multi-unit building, and lucky me, the only window in my living room faces a walkway used by other tenants (who occasionally look in). I needed to find a way to keep wandering eyes out, but still preserve what little light came through my single window. I found a great curtain at Ikea, but it was more transparent than I liked, especially at night. A blackout curtain wasn’t an option for fear it would feel too dark inside, and self-adhesive vinyl privacy film was more than $40 for just one window! Yikes! So, with a little internet reseplace, I found a homemade remedy to fix the problem. I dissolved 4-5 heaping tablespoons of Epsom salts in a cup of room temperature beer, and let rest until the foam subsided (which took about an hour). Then, I used a small spray bottle and to apply three light coats onto my window, letting it dry in between each coat. When I was finished I had a beautiful frosted pattern on my window, and it cost less than $5. Voilà – homemade privacy film! – Rebecca F.

Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik

From our partners

help! who made these custard cups?

custardcups

I bought these three glass custard cups at an antique store over the winter. It was a snowy, yucky day and it was just the owner, myself and a small store with antiques stacked almost to the ceiling. After chatting and wandering around for most of my lunch hour, I felt I had to buy something so I picked up three custard cups for $15. Once I got them home and in the light, I fell in love. The glass has a pale blue tint to it and the there’s a starburst design on the bottom. I thought I’d be able to find a few more online in the usual haunts (ebay, Ruby Lane, Tias) by seplaceing for Hazel Atlas, Fire King or Anchor Hocking. No luck. It seems like from the design on the bottom, someone’s got to have an idea. Anyone got a helpful hint for me? — Sarah L.

From our partners

easy diy: canvas drop cloth tablecloth

diy tablecloth
tablecloth done

I love the idea of using drop cloths in place of linen. Not only because I of the texture and color, but because fabric has become ridiculously expensive. To make a Provencal-inspired tablecloth, I bought a $9 canvas drop cloth. The painter’s tape and fabric paint I already had, I just need to mix to get a deeper red. You’ll also need a small tape measure and because the canvas resists moisture, a wallpaper tool or other straight edge to smooth down the tape as you paint. (You can see the tape starting to pop up in the first picture. As long as you work in sections and smooth down first, you shouldn’t get any bleed.) Once you measure out your lines, it goes quick. And since the ends are hemmed, I only needed to finish the edge I had to cut. All totaled? $9 for the cloth and about an hour of my time, which included fighting with the sewing machine. After the paint sets for three days, I’ll be able to back and iron and call the project truly done.

Other creative tablecloth ideas?
• Paint a train track down the middle and line up toy trains for a kid’s party.
• For a casual outdoor wedding or wedding shower, drape cloths over the front of a gift table, so that it touches the ground. In script, have the word “gifts” painted on the front.
• For a family reunion, arm everyone with a Sharpie and ask them to sign and write their name and add important dates.
• For Thanksgiving, have everyone write what they are thankful for on the cloth.

If you give this idea a go, remember to put a piece of cardboard or towel under your line. I found out just in time that the paint goes through. Other ideas? Let’s hear them. Add to comments. — Sarah L.

From our partners